Today seemed to last a thousand years.

First Mr. Grumbly was talking about history. But he kept referring to pages, and historians, and dates upon dates upon dates. After a few minutes, I decided to catch up on sleep. Demerit twelve.

I perked up a bit when he started to talk about spells. But again, there was so much talking. Words like conservation of energy. Transmogication of the elements, mass and signs and quations. It was so much more boring than actual spell work.

I had asked if we were actually going to practice. That had gotten a few laughs and number thirteen. After that, I stayed quiet for the rest of the morning.

For lunch, we left Mr. Grumbly’s class and went down to a lunchroom. Lunch. Where you were supposed to pay for meals, and then go into your own group while you ate and judged people. At least, that’s what it looked like.

Like everything at Blue Wheel, it seemed to be made to look as grand as possible. Two stories tall, for no real reason than be important. The food was on one side, and more long tables.

Light streamed in from the floor-to-ceiling windows, revealing more gardens. Where did they even find a place to make the gardens?

Luckily, I had been smart enough to grab some of the money off the dresser as we left. I was sitting down next to the windows, and looked outside as I ate a really over-priced salad. And thought.

So far school was exactly what I imagined it to be. A bunch of people that were convinced of their own importance, because they talked really nice. No doing stuff, and I wasn’t really finding a reason to be here besides making Merryl work. And not die, that was also important.

I finished the salad, and set it aside. Picked up the staff, and tapped the glass. I was supposed to be out there. We had an evil mayor, and an even eviler town. There were good people that needed saving. And instead I was catching up on sleep.

The glass tapped back. I frowned, and tapped it again. It tapped a third time.


I looked up. There, high up, right at the top of the window, Lana looked back at me. She was upside down, holding on to the windowsill by her clawed feet.

She floated down to the ground, and leaned against the grass. “What are you doing alone?”

I shrugged. “Thinking.”

“About what?”

“About why I’m in here…” I stopped, and frowned. “And you’re out there.”

Lana looked downcast. “I’m… they say I’m supposed to be out here.”



The two of us looked back. A blonde boy stood up in the center of lunchroom, and pointed at Lana. He was wearing snooty clothes, and a badge on his chest. It was of a knife with three red paint drops on it.

“You! Get back upstairs where you belong!”

Lana started to move. I slapped my staff against the glass, and it stopped her.

“Why does Lana have to go upstairs?”

The boy laughed. “Are you as stupid as you are delinquent?”

“What’s delinquent?”

He chuckled. “So yes. Let me explain it to you, new girl. The…Reza, as the beasts insist we call them, have other duties here at Blue Wheel. They have to pull their weight around here. Doing gardening work, making food. Their sort of work.”

He pointed at Lana. “And she needs to find that out now, before someone else explains it to her.”

I looked at Lana, and then at the boy.

“Oh, I see. You’re a jerk.”

I smiled. “You’re all jerks.”

So I blew the window down.

I climbed out of the wreckage, and waved to everyone.

“This entire Academy is dumb. I’m leaving.”

copyright 2019 Jack Holder

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